GP case study: Teledermatology and Rheumatology

Dr Francis explains how he uses Phone Advice & Guidance and PhotoSAF on the Consultant Connect App to benefit his patients.

Speaking to a consultant was “an excellent, direct, and time-saving way to access timely consultant advice.”  Dr Nathan Francis 

GP case study: Teledermatology and Rheumatology

Dr Francis is a GP at Wareham Surgery in Dorset. He uses the PhotoSAF feature within the Consultant Connect App to take images which he then attaches to e-RS Advice & Guidance (A&G) requests. The dermatology A&G service in Dorset is delivered by local consultant dermatologists who aim to respond to all queries within 48 hours. Dr Francis can also use the Consultant Connect App to make Phone Advice & Guidance calls to local consultants at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Francis has been a GP for 10 years.

Dr Francis describes below how he has recently helped two patients using the app.

Use of PhotoSAF allows patient to be monitored in primary care

“A patient was advised to see me by another health professional who had noticed a change in one of the patient’s moles. I would have referred the patient to a dermatology clinic had it not been for A&G – possibly even on the fast-track suspected cancer pathway. Not only did this Advice & Guidance service give me the confidence to seek advice, but once I had received a reply from a dermatologist, it also gave me the confidence to reassure my patient. This avoided further anxiety for my patient as well as a referral.”

How PhotoSAF helped:

“A consultant dermatologist replied by e-RS to the image I sent saying “the attached photos are of super quality.” The dermatologist was able to comment on macroscopic and dermatoscopic features (as I had held my phone’s camera directly over a dermatoscope for one of the images) and to state that the lesion looked benign. The dermatologist suggested for a GP to see the patient again in four months to compare the mole with the images taken via PhotoSAF.”

Phone Advice & Guidance on the app gets timely results for patient

A patient presented to Dr Francis with symptoms suggesting Giant Cell Arteritis. Dr Francis was able to use immediate Phone Advice & Guidance on the Consultant Connect App to speak to a local Rheumatologist at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The consultant advised on the best course of action. Dr Francis commented that he “can highly recommend” using this service.

How Phone Advice & Guidance helped:

Speaking to a consultant was “an excellent, direct, and time-saving way to access timely consultant advice.” Using the app is “the easiest way to speak to a specialist consultant [Dr Francis has] yet to find.” Dr Francis also explained that he called Rheumatology again a week later. This “ensured that the patient had a timely clinic review to consider a temporal artery biopsy.” This was a positive result as Phone Advice & Guidance allowed the patient to get quick and effective care.


Click here to view and download a PDF version of this case study.

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